Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter!

"Death reveals that the world is not as it should be but that it stands in need of redemption.  Christ alone is the conquering of death." Dietrich Bonhoffer as quoted in Bonhoffer biography by Eric Metaxas.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Meditations - getting the hurt out of my soul

(this post was begun in December of 2010, I did not want to post but I think it will claify a little more of my growing up years.  especially in light of the post just before this one.  I pray that it will help someone else go through suffering and see the presence of God in it.)

I know that many will not understand what I'm about to say.  I won't stereotype but this involves suffering and sometimes doctrine helps but it helps in the way in which a surgery helps a broken bone, it still hurts right after surgery but it still hurts.  Some people don't get that, they just don't get people who suffer or go through suffering.  I'm not saying that I get people, especially in suffering, mostly I don't, but I understand how it causes reactions in me that might lead me down a different path. 

Sometimes I don't like thinking, it hurts but it is necessary.  2010 was a year of thinking and thinking beyond the means that I have used to cope with fear and depression that sometimes consumes me.  Yes, I get fearful and it is sinful, it is a basic mistrust of God and his goodness.  One of the main bylines of this year that I shared with my wife was, "you do what you believe".  So I can say that, "I'm better than I deserve" but do I walk that way?  Do I complain when it starts coming at me hard and heavy?  What is my reaction to adversity?  Does it "open the ear" as it says in Job 36:15 or does it shut me down?

Why do I ask these things?  Well it is simple since I was about 7 years old I walked in abject fear.  You say well that is just ridiculous, you're suppose to walk in faith.  I would say, "Yes, you're right", but this is where doctrine comes in as the surgery but the bone is still healing.  Do you ever feel that way?  Do you have something that you struggle with, "how could a good God allow that to happen?", maybe you thought of something right away, something inside you curled up or your stomach churned.  I'm with you but this year was different, God would not allow me to keep questioning.

When I was 7 y/o my sister was sexually assaulted by seven guys, I was in the room.  No they did not assault me, that was by God's grace but I watched it all and I still saw the pain on my sister's face as she tried to resist her attackers.  It was sinful, mean, hateful, anti-Christ, nothing that I saw was good.  We went home, both crying, I was crying for her and myself, not to make me out to be someone who is servant minded all the time, it was an uncontrollable heave from my soul, I was losing something. 

It was a Sunday, just like any other Sunday at Redeemer Church, I'm now 42 y/o and singing songs to my Redeemer.  I started to cry and could not stop, I saw the pain and hurt, my sister's face seared onto my memory.  I ran out the back door, hoping to run away from the thoughts, I didn't want to deal with it, I wanted it gone.  I was angry at God.  Why did I have to be in the room?  Why could I not defend someone that I loved so much?  I put on a great show but behind the scenes my soul was a mess.  Friends consoled me and I love them for that but God, the Holy Spirit was just reminding me that, no matter what this life brings He'll be there.  That is what the Gospel is about, a God who is present.  It is what we just celebrated, Immanuel - God with us!

My thoughts are not all the way healed, it just doesn't happen like that.  I'll still have the issues of living up to my calling as a leader.  Not only do I have the natural, "I don't measure up" thoughts but I also have the messages that the enemy of my soul wants to leave there, "you can't protect anyone", "a real man would've been able to do something, anything but you didn't".  God is steadfast in his love for us, you can never doubt that when you look at where we have been and where we are now.

****what spurred this is I pulled up Google street view and went back to the place, the scene of the crime so to say and it is painful to take steps, tracing the roads that we walked back down to our home.  I didn't know it then but I would never be the same again.  By God's grace I am where I am and he has blessed me beyond measure with a family of 1 beautiful wife and 4 beautiful kids.  Would I ever want them to experience this?  Perish the thought.  But would I be the dad that I am today?  Most likely not, what happens to us shapes our lives in ways that, if we went back, would only make it something that we could wrap our tiny, insignificant brains around.  God is vast and may our hearts rejoice in him in all things.

Your boasting friend,


Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Complementarian or Eagalitarian?

I remember when I was in an SBC church and had to teach a class on marriage, within the context of Sunday School and I was uncomfortable with the material that was presented by the video.  I still go to an SBC church but it is more of the reformed taste.  Moving toward Philadelphia (instead of Rome)?  Nah, just wanted the expression, especially to my kids, to be more sincere about what faith we profess.

I had to get up after that and apologize that I did not agree with the video in the least, the whole issue? I lean toward Complementarianism and the speaker on the video did not. I would say that, me saying that I am a Comlementatrian, would be a slight to anyone who held that view. I say that tongue in cheek because I came from a family where I had 5 sisters and 1 brother.  Mind you that I had an authoritarian figure of a father who ruled our house and all complied with him.  In fact, I remember when at his funeral they played audio of him that he made before he died, he said about me, "Tim, I don't know where you came from...".  It was truly meant as a compliment but now, looking back, I see it as a point of frustration for him and disappointment that I wasn't more like him.  Okay, enough with personal stuff.  I had 5 sisters, I joke and say that I had 6 mothers. :)
This was no easy thing for me, taking the lead and becoming a man in the midst of so much estrogen.  I did at times look at that with bitterness because I sure would've used more manly influence.  I thought it telling that when I had a conversation with one of my sisters a couple of years ago, I looked up to my Mother instead of my Father because she was the one who had worked all my growing up years.  My Father, suffering from health problems, would stay home and be there when I got home from school.  I never really saw my Dad "go to work" but maybe for 3-4 months or less at a time.
I give this background because if anyone should be an Egalitarian it would be me!  Again I'm not a full blown Complementarian but I think it is because of sinful reasons.  I normally don't want to take the lead, I want to sit back in comfort and watch a strong woman take charge which they normally will, every time.  My struggle in the area of sexual purity handicaps me in leading and being more of a man because I see something that I want more than a family.  I say this to my shame.  You would think that living with 5 sisters there would be more respect but I think that would explain more of my Father's absenteeism and authoritarian stature that I saw.  So a high respect of women isn't high on my list.  That is a subtle nuance, sinful yet attracting, that I would love to be more Egalitarian, my reason would say, "it would give more respect to women and that would make me feel better."  But again, would that make them feel better, floundering and having to be more the authority because you don't want to be?  I know that it is a role that has been thrust on women but is that because of men's sinful behavior or because of obedience?  I remember that same SS class having an older couple come in and give us clues on how to have a successful relationship.  One of the success' that they shared was that when he, the husband, would come home from a long day at work they didn't greet him, they just let him go have "his time", after he was ready then he would come out and greet them.  Really?  Poor guy just couldn't handle it and she had to take up the slack for him - BTW, that is how it was nuanced from what was said.  That is a pity in so many ways, MAN UP!  If that is success than give me the failure door for $200 Bob (The Price is Right). :)  So, is that walking in obedience, making sure you get your "me time" so that you don't "go off" on your kids?  Aw, poor man, just can't handle work and family? :)  Listen, I know that it is hard to have a family and work and commute but when I come home, guess who is waiting...two boys and a girl who, when they hear the garage open up are right on me and I wouldn't have it any other way.
Just some questions observed.  I still change diapers and clean the house, so I think it is more than just an action, done or not done, that would make one a Complementarian or Egalitarian.  In fact, I think it would make it more viable for me to excuse my wife to do it if I didn't have more of a Complementarian view of things.  I believe that I contribute everywhere and not just in leadership ways.  I think men have felt less than, especially in this area, because we tend to do those things, cleaning, laundry, cooking, etc...and say that your a Complementarian.  Am I not suppose to sit on my throne and rule?  Well, if your following the example of Jesus, yes and no, he ruled but also washed the disciples feet.  All this is to introduce the below video from a website called reform, I thought at first it was a joke because I got it from the fellas at ref21, a women talking about Complementarianism, joke right?  Wrong, she makes some very strong points, I'll let you see:

Carrie Sandom from Jason Rooper on Vimeo.
May God grow us in grace as we look to him for clarity in areas of debate.
Your boasting friend,

Monday, April 11, 2011

Sexual Purity - practicing it and fighting our propensity to run away

This is from a great post by Dr. Harry W. Schaumburg and the particular post, Fireproof your life and marriage.

1st Biblical Essential: A Consistent Diet of “Meat” Heb. 5:11-14

To be skilled in the word of righteousness

To have the powers of discernment

To distinguish good from evil

2nd Biblical Essential: A Rigorous Training in the Grace of God Titus 2:11, 12

To renounce ungodliness

To renounce worldly passions

To live self-controlled, upright and godly lives

3rd Biblical Essential: A Well-Established Heart James 5:8-11

To be patient

To not grumble

To remain steadfast

4th Biblical Essential: A Determined Effort to Supplement Faith 2 Peter 1:5-11

To increase these qualities

To not lack these qualities

To practice these qualities

5th Biblical Essential: A Strict Departure from the Old Life Col. 3:5-14

To put to death what is earthly

To put away; put off the old self

To put on the new self

6th Biblical Essential: A Restless Diligence Heb. 2:1; 3:12

To avoid unbelief

To not be hardened

To be firm to the end

7th Biblical Essential: A Concerted Effort Must Be Made Heb. 12:15-16

See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God.

See to it that no root of bitterness springs up.

See to it that no one is sexually immoral.

See to it that no one is unholy like Esau.

We can deceive ourselves and settle into a stupor when we're not aware of this area. The gospel can become dull and unfasinating if our minds are dulled by the encessant attack from the sexualized culture that we live.

I cannot tell you enough of how we need this to grip us, the secret nature of this sin is the nastiest and most deadly to our spiritual senses. We can justify it to ourselves but it will never grow us closer in intimacy with the ones that we truly love the most, if we sat down and thought about it. But that is the problem, we never sit down and think it out. Ultimately it is a separation from the One who has given us all things, especially His own Son for our sin.  I pray that we can find accountability and never generalize this but kill it or as Col. 3:5 says, "Put to death..."

Your boasting friend,


Monday, April 4, 2011

Good example of preaching the gospel via the Old Testament

March 27 sermon from Canon Wired on Vimeo.

The Word of God is powerful and speaks best by those that will plainly speak the word by simple words because let's face it, most of us have simple minds. 

One of the lines from the video, "God draws straight with crooked lines..." Doug Wilson.  Until we realize that the gospel is worked out in the details of life then we will not understand the broader picture of what God is doing all over the world. 

Lord, please grant us eyes to see.

Your boasting friend,